Board & Staff
Board of Directors
Cara Becker, Treasurer Cara graduated from Adelphi University with a degree in Business Administration. Before moving to the Berkshires, she worked as a Manager of Executive Training and Development for Lord & Taylor stores where she created and implemented Executive training programs for the company nationwide. Cara moved with her family to the Berkshires from Long Island and has since taken roles as Community Liaison for the town of Great Barrington and Executive Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police. Cara has also participated in many task forces that focus on the betterment of the community she loves.
Erik Bruun Erik is the President of SoCo Creamery and has served on the CDCSB Board of Directors previously. In his career, he has also led an investment company specializing in emerging markets and has been a reporter, editor and writer, publishing several books, including Our Nation’s Archive. He was the founding president of the Railroad Street Youth Project for ten years and has taken leadership roles in several community organizations.
Spring Burke Spring works as a Vice President, Mortgage Advisor for Pittsfield Cooperative Bank and has worked in the banking industry for over half of her life in different roles. It is very fulfilling to help her customers and potential customers. For the past 6 years she sat on the Board of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce with the role of Treasurer for several years. She lives in Norfolk, CT, which is her hometown. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, vacationing, hiking and golfing.
Thomas Doyle Tom is a Broker Associate with Lance Vermeulen Real Estate Inc., as well as the Treasurer/Secretary on the Board of Berkshire Multiple Listing Service, Inc. He is the Managing Member of TOPA Enterprises, LLC, a real estate investment and development company. Tom joined the CDCSB Board in 2017.
Don Eaton, Clerk Don is an account director at Toole Insurance Agency in Lee. Professionally, he works with clients in the construction and other related sectors in Massachusetts and Eastern New York, and holds the Certified Insurance Counselor and Construction Risk Insurance Specialist designations. In his personal time, he has devoted many years to volunteerism and philanthropy and currently serves as a deacon for the Congregational Church in Stockbridge. Don has a keen interest in affordable housing and is dedicated to supporting small businesses. He joined the CDCSB Board with the intent to serve on the Economic Development subcommittees and working closely with the organization’s new Small Business Technical Assistance Program.
Allen Harris Allen is the Founder and CEO of Berkshire Money Management (BMM), a full-service financial management firm, located in Dalton, Massachusetts. Allen is a professional investment management veteran who, for more than 20 years, has used his expertise to help his clients increase their investment portfolio value while protecting their wealth during economic downturns. He has grown his company to more than 15 employees and is in the process of opening BMM’s first satellite office on the corner of Castle and Main Street in Great Barrington. In his personal life, Allen has a passion for philanthropy, with a particular focus on animal welfare. He has personally fostered scores of pets in his own house as he tried to find them “forever homes.” Dedicated to community engagement, Allen is also a strong supporter of both economic revitalization and the arts in the Berkshires. He will be a member of both the Economic Development and the Marketing/Fundraising subcommittees of the board helping to move forward the CDCSB’s mission to build affordable housing and support small businesses.
Jim Harwood, President Jim has practiced architecture for more than 20 years and is a graduate of Cornell University. In 2007, Jim moved from New York City to Lenox, Massachusetts where his office for J. Harwood Architect is now based. Jim has a history of designing responsible, energy efficient buildings in the challenging northeastern climate. He is a LEED accredited professional. Jim joined the board at CDCSB in 2010 because of his commitment to the creation of living wage jobs and affordable housing.
Robin Helfand Robin is the Owner and “Sweet Chief” of her eponymous Sweet Shop, Robin’s Candys, in Great Barrington. Before opening her business in 2004, Robin and her three children lived in Germany and Australia. Robin holds a BA/BS from Tufts and an MBA from Cornell. When not reacquainting customers with the joys of pixie stix & nik’l’nips, Robin is dedicated to building our community. She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the MA Retailers Association and the Specialty Food Association. Robin currently shares her marketing background consulting with businesses “pivoting” during the Pandemic.
Brian Horan Brian is a respected litigator and counselor at Cain Hibbard & Myers PC in Pittsfield. His experience spans areas including real estate, health care, telecommunications, construction, finance, insurance, and intellectual property. Before joining Cain Hibbard, Brian spent more than a decade advising New York City agencies and litigating on critical issues including expanding affordable housing and economic opportunity. Brian received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from NYU School of Law. He and his family relocated to Great Barrington in 2020.
Mike Igoe Mike grew up in Great Barrington and watched the town evolve from a relatively quiet, undiscovered country enclave to a place that has grown by leaps and bounds. Mike graduated from Westfield State with a B.S. in political science, having enjoyed an exciting career as a college baseball player. He has spent the last three decades working in construction as a mason, including running his own masonry business. While he enjoys the beautiful Berkshire landscape, he especially likes living in Great Barrington. Mike thinks that the open-mindedness of the people in the area make it special because “everyone has the chance to thrive.” He sees his work on the CDCSB board as an opportunity to help others thrive.
Rufus Jones Rufus is the co-founder of the James Weldon Johnson Foundation. He has held roles as an educator, entrepreneur, musician, songwriter and Wall Street trader. He has held positions at Watermill Institutional Trading, SunTrust and Goldman Sachs. Previous to his career on Wall Street, Rufus worked as an educator and administrator in Chicago and New York City. A native of Memphis, TN, he holds an A.B. from Harvard University and received his M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee.
Richard Stanley, Acting Vice President Richard is owner and developer of the Triplex Cinema and has been involved in town projects and affordable housing projects, including the development of several condominium projects in Great Barrington with affordable home ownership. Taconic Parking lot was funded through a grant written by Richard and he helped found the CDCSB in the early 1990s, serving on the board at that time. We are pleased to have Richard back on the CDCSB board once again.
David Thorne David has been the owner of the Thornewood Inn in Great Barrington for more than three decades. With his wife, Terry, they transformed a neglected Dutch Colonial home on the outskirts of Great Barrington into a successful Bed & Breakfast and restaurant. A talented musician, David can be found performing at the Inn for visitors and guests.
Carol Bosco Baumann, Interim Executive Director
Carol is an innovative, collaborative leader serving brands, places, people, and nonprofits. After two decades in high-level marketing and communications roles in travel, food, publishing, and nonprofit sectors, Carol launched a strategic marketing, branding, and communications consultancy that is focused on reputation management and growth opportunities. Carol began community development work while living in the west Fenway neighborhood in Boston, creating a summer camp in partnership with the MFA, Gardner Museum, BSO, Harvard Medical School, and others for children in under-resourced neighborhoods. She has volunteered for many initiatives and organizations in the Berkshire community, including Housatonic village and school redevelopment efforts and as Chair of the Chesterwood Advisory Council. Carol is passionate about nature and wildlife, oceans, growing food, and empowering people and communities. She has lived in Housatonic with her husband, cats, and dogs since 1996.
Emmalyn Gaertner, Manager of Finance and Operations
Emmalyn joined CDCSB full-time in 2017. Emmalyn is a Berkshire native from Becket, MA. After graduating from high school she spent the next ten years living and studying in Washington, DC, New Mexico, Texas, and Spain. She studied Sociology and Spanish at American University in Washington, DC, worked in the education department at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, and taught yoga. She lives in Great Barrington with her husband and children.
Giulia Laveto-Emery, Administrative Assistant
Giulia joined CDCSB in early 2022. Giulia is originally from Italy and moved to the U.S. in 2013. She graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Verona and, since relocating to the Berkshires in 2015, has worked in the nonprofit sector. Giulia is passionate about food and cooking, and loves to support our excellent local restaurants. She lives in Great Barrington with her husband, two young children, and dog.